Home Beautiful|June 2020
No need to take your shoes off, it’s a country house!” says Amanda, as she welcomes guests into her Georgian-style home on the outskirts of Launceston. The property, designed and built by the homeowner and her husband, Skip, looks as if it has been standing firm in the ground for 100 years or more. Although it was built only 17 years ago, the combined age of the materials used amounts to centuries passed. Every internal door in the home has come from the old hydroelectric substations in Launceston while the exterior is made from salvaged century-old Tasmanian Machen’s bricks. “It feels good to give purpose to old materials,” explains the history lover, who grew up spending her holidays restoring furniture in her parents’ antique store.
During the build, Amanda quickly discovered that working with recycled materials can be labour-intensive, making use of the barn that was completed four months into the 13-month construction. “It was becoming too much to juggle our two young daughters and the construction, so we sold our cottage in the city and moved into the barn to be closer to the site,” she recalls. The family lived in the fully equipped two-storey barn for nine months while work on the house continued. Besides assistance with elements of the roofing, the couple completed the bulk of the work themselves. “Every single facet of this build was time consuming, there are no two ways about it,” says Amanda, who acknowledges that by using reclaimed materials and doing the work themselves, they were able to keep their costs down. “That was the most important factor in the whole process – we had a budget and we were going to stick to it.”
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